Category: Mercy

Hedge Maze 1

A Moral Maze

Over the past couple of weeks, Where Peter Is has featured some articles presenting dueling metaphors about Christian freedom, conscience, and the place of other people in informing conscience. Paul Fahey first drew a picture of a garden, walled by God, in the middle of a wasteland. He suggested that there should be complete freedom of movement within this garden, and that though some people may find a need to limit themselves further to avoid...

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Pope Francis’ “Dangerous” View of Conscience

George Weigel complains that “voices have been heard urging a view of conscience that is curious, even dangerous.” What view of conscience could that be? Weigel describes it like this: Under certain circumstances, conscience may permit or even require that a person choose acts that the Church has consistently taught are intrinsically wrong—such as using artificial means of contraception, or receiving Holy Communion while living the married life in a union that’s not been blessed...

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When Mercy Saved Me

“Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God. All the works of My hands are crowned with mercy.” -Divine Mercy in My Soul, paragraph 301 “I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I have come to call not the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13) I am an addict. The matter of my addiction is between God and me but, because there is a Church and I am a part of it, it’s also between...

Walford presents Francis with a Southampton football jersey. 1

Interview with Catholic author Stephen Walford, Part 2

(Click here to read Part 1) Today we continue our interview with Stephen Walford, author of the upcoming book Pope Francis, The Family and Divorce: In Defense of Truth and Mercy, which will be released by Paulist Press on August 28. In part 1 we discussed the abuse crisis, Walford’s background as a musician and a writer, and began to discuss the division in the Church that has followed Pope Francis’s teaching on marriage and the...

Walford with the pope 2

Interview with Catholic author Stephen Walford, Part 1

Ever since he burst onto the the scene in January 2017 with a 5000-word essay in La Stampa entitled “Amoris Laetitia: Where Truth and Mercy Embrace,” Catholic writer Stephen Walford has found himself at the center of the often heated debate in the Church over Pope Francis and his teachings. Coming on the heels of the publication of five questions (or dubia) from four cardinals who have openly challenged the orthodoxy and authority of the...

Rawlins Brothers 0

The death penalty and the mystery of mercy

Regarding the death penalty, I owe my existence to the last-minute commutation of a death sentence and the eventual pardon of my great-grandfather, who murdered a child in 1904. Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, my great-great-grandfather, Joseph “Crazy Joe” Rawlins, was engaged in a feud in South Georgia with a man named William L Carter. Rawlins was a farmer and a former Baptist preacher with five children, while Carter (also a farmer...

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The Foolish Mercy of Accompaniment

For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:22-25) Step back for a minute and think about what we believe as Catholics. The...

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Why I Trust the Pope

I have the firm conviction that, since at least 1939, the Church of Rome has been led by saints in the persons of the Roman Pontiffs. Some may mock it, deride it, think it naive, or whatever they like; but it seems right and fitting to me that the Lord would ensure us such holy leadership in such an unprecedented time of cultural, social, philosophical, theological, and anthropological, upheaval. In other words, right when we...

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Misunderstanding Veritatis Splendor: A reply to E. Christian Brugger

Veritatis Splendor has always been the favorite encyclical of those who are unhappy with the theological direction of Pope Francis.  It is their source of authority for their condemnations of Amoris Laetitia especially. In one recent example, E. Christian Brugger pits Pope John Paul’s Veritatis Splendor against Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia in an article published and hosted by National Catholic Register called ‘Amoris Laetitia’ vs. ‘Veritatis Splendor’: You Say You Want a Revolution?. The subtitle is:...

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Responsible parenthood as a corporal work of mercy

A few years ago Pope Francis made headlines by saying that Catholics did not have to ‘be like rabbits’. “That example I mentioned shortly before about that woman who was expecting her eighth child and already had seven who were born with caesareans. That is a an irresponsibility That woman might say ‘no, I trust in God.’ But, look, God gives you means to be responsible. Some think that — excuse the language — that...

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Closeness is the Key to Truth

Since the first Holy Thursday of his papacy, when he moved the Mass of the Lord’s Supper to a youth prison on the outskirts of Rome, Pope Francis has used this day to paint a portrait of his vision for the Church: a Church that goes out to the margins and encounters, evangelizes, and serves others. Much has been made over the controversy from Francis’ decision to wash the feet of women and non-Catholics (and...